Debunking ‘Bad Science’: YouTube’s AI Epidemic Exposed – Insights from the BBC


AI-generated misinformation floods YouTube, targeting kids as creators exploit their clicks for profit. Bad science videos, disguised as educational content, leverage catchy titles and controversial topics. These videos, often surpassing genuine science content, manipulate algorithms and spread false information globally. The BBC conducted an experiment revealing how ‘bad science’ infiltrates children’s recommended feeds, potentially shaping their beliefs. AI-generated scripts, voices, and stolen footage contribute to the rapid growth of these channels, posing ethical concerns and financial gains for creators.

Discussion Points:


Why are these AI-driven pseudo-science channels so popular with young people?

  • Consider the conspiratorial nature of these videos and how we react to them.

              Timestamp | 00:00 – 01:41


What happened when the investigative team clicked on one of the bad science videos on Youtube?

  • Explore how YouTube’s algorithms work with regard to the videos they recommend to you.

              Timestamp | 01:41 – 02:11


How are these AI Bad Science channels created?

  • Think about all the different pieces needed to make a video and how the fake science channels find and put the pieces together using AI.

              Timestamp | 2:11 – 06:06


How do these pseudo science YouTube channels make money?

  • Explore the relationship between views of a video and the money advertisers pay the channel creator and Google (the owner of YouTube).

              Timestamp | 06:06 – 07:14


Do you think it is ethical that YouTube allows and profits from fake science videos? Why?

  • Consider the implications of learning something false but being led to believe it is true.

              Timestamp | 06:06 – 08:42


What could happen if AI generated false information floods YouTube?

  • Consider what would happen to factual content.

              Timestamp | 8:42 – 10:01


What are the problems with YouTube’s business model and how they generate revenue?

  • Think about how the algorithm is fine tuned to reward channel creators for the number of views on a video and how that affects the amount of money both the creator and YouTube receive from advertisers.

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What could happen to quality content creators if AI Generated content floods your YouTube feed?

  • Consider how lower view counts will affect the creators of quality educational content.

              Timestamp | Final Thoughts